Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Charlotte’s story

Charlotte was four months shy of her fourteenth birthday when she passed away from Ewing Sarcoma. She had planned on going to uni, helping others, travelling, and having a “cute husband” (in the words of Isabel, her best friend).

Charlotte had bravely endured more than five years of cancer treatment, including eight invasive surgeries, seven conventional cancer treatments, two traditional radiation treatments, and two experimental radiation treatments. But she died in her parent’s arms before she could undergo targeted immunotherapy, because it wasn’t ready yet. It wasn’t ready when she needed it most.

Charlotte didn’t have the chance to benefit from the progressive treatment that has saved so many adult lives, and it’s because of this that the Ian Frazer Centre is so important. The Centre aims to ensure that all children facing a cancer diagnosis have the opportunity for a more effective cancer treatment, and that they will recover and live long, healthy, and happy lives. That will be Charlotte’s legacy.

Our wish is that all children with cancer have the opportunity for a less aggressive and more effective treatment.”

Michelle and Michael, Charlotte’s parents

Professor Ian Frazer AC

Professor Ian Frazer is a pioneering cancer researcher, world-leading immunotherapy expert, and credited with coinventing Gardasil™, the world’s first vaccine for cancer.

Foundation President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Medical Research Future Fund, Australian of the Year in 2006, Recipient of the Prime Ministers Prize for Science, Awarded the Balzan Prize, in 2008, Fellow of the Royal Society of London and appointed Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Without you, survival rates won’t improve, and children will continue to die from cancer."

Professor Ian Frazer AC

Why cancer immunotherapy?

For decades, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery have been the mainstays for treating cancer. These treatments kill cancer cells, but they have a lot of unwanted side effects. Healthy cells and tissues, especially in young growing children, can be permanently affected. No matter what the treatment, relapse is always possible, so we need to explore new treatments to minimise this risk.

Research will help us understand the side effects of new treatments, to ensure we are giving children with cancer the best possible chance at survival and survivorship through exploring the possibility of reducing the burden of their cancer treatment.

With your help, something better, safer, smarter, can be explored now.